The large-scale celebration was preceded by the online/offline orientation marathon ITMO.ENTER, during which first-year students explored a range of “stations” to learn more about student clubs, academic mobility programs, and many other opportunities offered by the university. Whereas at ITMO.GO, they finally met their deans, heads of their educational programs and adapters (volunteers who assist new students in settling in at the university – Ed.) and immersed themselves in the atmosphere of ITMO University. 

Greeting the newcomers, the university’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev noted that ITMO University is not a place where students solely learn and receive educational services, but rather a community where they take part in generating new knowledge and creating novel technologies and products. 

“You’re part of ITMO.Family now, and, like all other members of our family, you’re here to boost the intellectual, entrepreneurial, creative, and athletic potential of our university. My wish is that, after some time, you will be able to say that you are creating and developing your alma mater – and that you are forever a part of ITMO. Just like any other family, ITMO has its own set of values, and these are: respect for the individual, academic freedom, integrity, openness, and love,” said Vladimir Vasilyev, the Rector of ITMO University. 

ITMO.GO featured a cheerleading performance by the KronBars sports club, a standup performance by ITMO.Punchline, and several dance and singing shows by the clubs Flame and Stay Tuned. Overall, the university has around around 100 student clubs, so any first-year student can find something to their liking – or create their own. The celebration officially concluded with a musical performance by ITMO student Anna Klyukva – and then ITMOtion Night at Avrora nightclub. 

ITMO.NEWS asked the participants of the celebration about why they chose ITMO, what they expect from university, and their aspirations. 

Nikita Ponomarev, a first-year Master’s student

Design and Development of Big Data Systems, Faculty of Software Engineering and Computer Systems

Nikita Ponomarev. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Nikita Ponomarev. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

I studied applied computer science at St. Petersburg State University of Economics. Now, I work as a data engineer at Bank Saint Petersburg and plan to continue working while I’m getting my Master’s at ITMO. I chose ITMO University because of the opportunity to customize my studies and pick classes I’m genuinely excited about. There is a really friendly community of people here who know what they want and come here to learn and grow. To top it off, I was drawn by the university’s partner programs and the chance to study fields that are rarely available at universities, such as big data in my case. I’d found no other university in St. Pete that offers such a program to my liking. I think that it will help me advance in my field and put my expertise in action.

Mariya Koturanova, a first-year Bachelor’s student 

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics

Mariya Koturanova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Mariya Koturanova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

I’ve long considered a career in engineering and opted for ITMO. I want to become an engineer to produce exciting and socially beneficial products. I hope that ITMO will help me grow professionally and find my niche. 

I’m an active person myself and expect that the student life here will be just as active – one of the things I want to try my hand at is cheerleading. The first days were memorable: I enjoyed the events and the atmosphere, and I also like that I can create my own schedule. My friend is a second-year student at ITMO, and she helps me adjust to student life. 

Dmitriy Kravchenko, a first-year Bachelor’s student

System and Applied Software, Faculty of Software Engineering and Computer Systems

Dmitriy Kravchenko. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Dmitriy Kravchenko. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

I went for ITMO because here I can obtain a quality education in mathematics, programming, and hardware, which is hard to pick up on your own while working in a company. I came here from Ryazan and I’m enjoying the transition to life at the university. I have already met a few of my fellow students. Apart from academics, I also plan to sign up for the powerlifting club at ITMO. I may not have a dream right now but I know what I want – and that’s education. I hope to gain fundamental competencies that will pave my way to any job in my field.  

Kseniya Kapranova, a first-year Master’s student

Chemistry and Artificial Intelligence, ChemBio Cluster 

Kseniya Kapranova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Kseniya Kapranova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

For my Bachelor’s, I studied nanoengineering at Don State Technical University in Rostov-on-Don, but I picked ITMO because it offers an abundance of opportunities for students, including for those who want to change their career. My field isn’t as well-developed in Rostov-on-Don as it is in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Besides, nanoengineers have to deal with loads of data – and that’s not an easy skill to teach. As a rule, we synthesize substances but we can’t predict the properties of nanoparticles without AI. To that end, ITMO offers well-equipped laboratories and top-notch specialists. 

In the future, I want to predict the properties of nanoparticles and search for new applications as a whole. Nanoparticles exhibit antibacterial properties and hence could be used for drug delivery or as antibacterial agents, or for any other production tasks. I’d also love to pick up some programming, and my dream is to work at BIOCAD.

Semyon Kalutskiy, a first-year Bachelor’s student

Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Faculty of Physics

Semyon Kalutskiy. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Semyon Kalutskiy. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Apart from excellent curricula and fundamental education, I was also attracted by the university’s warm environment and its friendly staff. These are the staples of academia. I have studied at a university before, so I can compare my experiences. Before ITMO, I studied physics at the Higher School of Economics but had to drop out because of its environment, which was hard on my mental state. But now I’ve found my new home – ITMO and its School of Physics and Engineering. 

In my first days here, I’ve already noted how kind and friendly the teachers and adapters are. I was amazed by the opportunities on offer: research laboratories, project activities, and collaborations with international universities – all available for students from the very first day.

I want to be a physicist to make breakthroughs, especially in fundamental physics. When we get to choose our specialization in the third year, I plan to opt for solid-state physics, which is the branch I’ve read the most about. I dream of receiving my DSc and writing academic papers.